Difference Between Attain and Obtain

Difference Between Attain and Obtain

Many articles and blogs are written every day. While most of these are mainly for news columns, there is also a sizeable number of articles for blogs and forums catering to the digital marketing activities of businesses. While writers have been expressing their thoughts, there are several instances when they get wrong with their choice of words.

The English language can get perplexing at times. There are few words with almost similar meaning. One pair being the words attain and obtain. According to Ginger, a grammar software, they have corrected 98% writers who have misused these words. You cannot look sloppy in your blog especially when you expect to be read by millions of people globally. So, what is the difference between obtain and attain? Let us delve deeper into both these words and try to comprehend the subtle difference between attain and obtain.

Definition of Attain

Let us first know the definition of attain. Different dictionaries will point to the same meaning. Attain, a verb, means to reach or to accomplish any goals. To attain is to put in large amount of effort into a project. You had set up a goal for yourself, exerted yourself and finally attained that position.

For example:

After two years, we attained the break-even point in our business.

Rosy worked so hard to attain the position of General Manager.

We were finally able to attain our dreams when we set up our Digital Marketing agency.

As evident from these examples, there is clearly an effort that has gone to attain an objective. You attain your objective by putting in a lot of labour.

Definition of Obtain

We have discussed in detail what “attain” is. Let us now understand what “obtain” is. The definition of obtain to get or receive custody of an object or material. To obtain means to acquire.

For example:

We have obtained online version of the Vogue.

The dacoits obtained the keys to the vault. While using obtain, it is not essential that you have invested some effort in an activity. You may have received the online subscription from your friend or relative. There is no implication about the level of difficulty involved.

Attain vs Obtain Comparison Table

Let us now subtly recognize the difference obtain between and attain.

Basis of ComparisonAttainObtain
DefinitionTo achieve; to accomplishTo get hold of; to gain
ExcellenceTo get at the knowledge of; to ascertainGain control of, to procure; to acquire, in any way
AttainTo reach or come to; to arrive atNo implication about attaining anything
Effort requiredRequires bodily exertion or effortsNo implication about any effort involved

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Attain vs Obtain

There is a less than subtle variance between what attain means and what obtain means. In this blog we have discussed in detail about attain vs obtain. We sincerely hope that you have understood the difference that exists in the use of these words. There are also online tests available online that you can go through. Till then, happy writing!